Fresh juicy shrimps, sweet peas and whole roasted cashew nuts are stir fried for no more than five minutes to make this vibrant dish. Shrimps peas cashew stir fry was one of our go-to dishes whenever we dined at Kowloon House when I was a child. It was, perhaps, all those shrimps during my childhood that led to an allergy that made me stay away from all crustaceans for most of my adult life. But, here I am, able to eat shrimps again although always with caution and in moderation.
The preparation time for shrimps peas cashew stir fry is three times as long as the actual cooking time. Fresh shrimps (yes, you have to use the freshest shrimps!) have to be shelled and deveined, tossed with salt and pepper, and allowed to marinate while the rest of the ingredients are prepared. Not that there’s a lot of work to be done — peeling and deveining the shrimps are the only labor-intensive part of the preparation so unless you’re cooking for a large crowd, the entire preparation should take more than ten to fifteen minutes.
As with any stir fry, all ingredients must be ready for the wok even before you start heating the oil. Cooking time is extremely short and you won’t have time to even stir the ingredients for the sauce once the shrimps are in the wok. And this is stir frying — extremely high heat is required from start to finish.
- 12 to 15 medium to large shrimps
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup shrimp juice
- 1 to 2 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon tapioca (or potato or corn) starch
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- a drizzle of sesame seed oil
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- a splash of rice wine
- ⅓ cup sweet peas
- ⅓ cup whole roasted cashew nuts
- Peel and devein the shrimps (see how). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Make the shrimp juice. Pound the heads and shells (use a mortar and pestle). Pour in one-third cup of water. Mix. Strain well.
- Finely slice the shallots.
- Mince the garlic.
- In a bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, starch, sugar, sesame seed oil and shrimp juice.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or large frying pan.
- When the oil is starting to smoke, add the shrimps, shallots and garlic. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the rice wine. Stir fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add the peas and cashew nuts.
- Pour in the shrimp juice mixture.
- Continue stir frying just until the sauce is thick and clear.
- Serve the shrimps peas cashew stir fry at once.